Hey there! Maurice here, founder and editor-in-chief of Revision Path. I put together this page of contributor guidelines to help you get up to speed with the style and tone of the blog, as well as some other important information.
The overall tone for the blog is professional yet friendly — sort of like a cool professor or mentor that’s looking out for your best interests, but also not sparing you any pleasantries. No super business-y language, but nothing too informal either. We’re especially interested in stories from across the African diaspora (the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Europe, etc.).
To sum it all up, the kind of content that best represents Revision Path should be thoughtful and well-written — suitable for an educated, tech-savvy, global audience of creative people.
We use Slack to communicate with each other — it’s quick and easy and a great way to keep in touch with what’s happening at an instant. Once you’ve provided your email address, I will invite you to the private channel called #staff in our Slack team. You will use Slack to talk to me and other writers, as well as for submitting your pitches.
Crafting Your Pitch
All articles start with a pitch. In your pitch, talk about why your topic is important to the Revision Path audience. Tell a story. Give me a unique twist. These ideas you’re pitching should be original content that has not been published elsewhere. Please submit your pitches in the #staff channel of the Revision Path Slack team.
In your pitch, you should also include the content vertical you’re pitching your articles towards (short interview, listicle, op-ed, tutorial).
Short interviews for the blog are a complement to the podcast. Short-form interviews should be around 500 words, which is usually five questions or so. I’m pretty flexible on this, so if you go a bit longer, that’s fine.
Listicles includes list posts, image-only posts, top tips posts, etc. If you’re familiar with BuzzFeed or any similar website, you’ve seen these posts before.
Op-Ed pieces are articles where you express a particular opinion about a topic. Op-ed pieces can vary in length, but you must back up your opinion with external information (statistics, quotes, etc.).
Tutorials are articles where you describe how to achieve a certain goal through procedural steps. This is similar to a listicle, except tutorials are focused on an end result for the reader. Tutorials must include photos (if you are doing a written tutorial), but you can also do a video tutorial. Just post the tutorial to YouTube, mark it as unlisted, and include the embedded video in your article.
If you get stuck, click here for an article of lots of different post ideas. Also, feel free to use the Slack team for ideas. Be creative!
Your pitches are for longform, in-depth, editorial style articles. These are more researched and journalistic in nature than listicles or op-ed pieces, and can also include product or service reviews, case studies, or similar content. Long-form interviews (1000 words or more) are also acceptable.
Writing and Editing
Awesome! So your pitch has been accepted and you’re ready to write!
As you’re writing, keep these tips in mind:
- When you create your headline, keep SEO in mind and create a headline that is catchy, sums up your article, and will make people want to read it or share it. If you need help, check out this post from Buffer. I may re-write your title before publishing.
- Back up your points with evidence where necessary (direct quotes, statistics, hyperlinks, etc.).
- Avoid contractions and flowery language. Remember, the tone is professional, yet relaxed — like a mentor. Some jargon is okay, but try to keep things simple. Let Orwell’s Rules of Writing be your guide.
- Please proofread. I will edit for clarity, but I’m not your English teacher. Be mindful of how the article flows, not to mention basic English grammar, spelling, subject-verb agreement, formatting, and punctuation. Consider the audience. When in doubt, read your article back to yourself out loud — that’s a great way to catch things that need to be edited.
WordPress is great for managing content, but not so much when it comes to editing. We use Google Docs for editing. Here’s the process:
- Write (or paste) your article in Google Docs.
- Click the blue Share button at the top right of the page. This will bring up a modal box titled Share with others.
- Click the Get shareable link icon on the top right of this modal box. This will turn on link sharing for your article.
- Change the permissions for link sharing from Anyone with the link can view to Anyone with the link can edit.
- Copy this shareable link, and send it to me via Slack. If you are submitting multiple articles for editing at once, please identify each shareable link with the title of the article.
After I’ve made my edits, I will send you a message via Slack so you can go back to your Google Docs document and make any necessary changes. Once edits are completed and approved, I will let you know when you can add the post to the site through WordPress.
Once you’ve finished writing and we’ve gone through the editing process, you’ll add your post to the site through WordPress. Here are the steps:
- Create a new post on the blog.
- Paste your approved article in the editor.
- You don’t have to submit images, but if you do, that will speed up the time between submission and publishing a lot. Hero images should be at least 800 pixels wide, and, contextual images should be at 300×300 pixels. Please upload images using the Add Media button. Either type of image should be placed before the first paragraph or between paragraphs.
- If you like, scroll down and add in your own tags in the Tags module, select categories in the Categories module, and fill in the information in the Yoast SEO module.
- In the Format module, change the post type from Audio to Standard.
- Scroll back to the top of the page. In the Publish module on the right of the page, click the Edit link next to Status: Draft, and set the publish status to Pending Review. Click the OK button.
- Click the Save as Pending button that appears right above the publish status. This will automatically send me an email letting me know your post is ready for me to review.
And that’s it! Once the post has been submitted, I will add any images and make edits to the tags, categories and/or title, and notify you via Slack on when your article will publish.
Congratulations! You’ve written an awesome post and now it’s up on the Web for everyone to see. Let’s get you paid.
Revision Path pays based on the vertical:
- 40 USD for listicles
- 50 USD for short interviews and op-ed pieces
- 75 USD for text/photo tutorials
- 100 USD for features, video tutorials
Invoices are due by the last Friday of the calendar month. On your invoice, include the title of the article that you’ve written and the corresponding cost. You will only be paid for posts which have been published.
Please send your invoice to email@example.com and include the word “Invoice” in the title.
Please make out your invoice to the following address:
835 Oglethorpe Ave SW #407
Atlanta, GA 30310
All invoices will be paid within 30 days of receipt. (This is not negotiable.)
If you have any questions about these contributor guidelines, send me an email.